NFL Draft 2013: Montee Ball prospect profile

US PRESSWIRE

A record breaker in college, could Montee Ball's return to college in 2012 have been a hit to his NFL potential and draft stock?

Wisconsin Badgers running back Montee Ball decided to skip the NFL Draft last season and return to Madison for his senior season. Despite a slow start to the season, Ball's Badgers returned to a third consecutive Rose Bowl after winning the Big Ten.

Along with a trip to the Rose Bowl, Ball set NCAA records for most touchdowns and most career rushing touchdowns. In 2011, Ball also broke the Big Ten record for most touchdowns and equalled the single-season NCAA record for touchdowns with 39.

Ball's collegiate career was hugely successful, but when it comes to the NFL Draft, that doesn't always equal a high draft stock. Sure enough, Ball's stock has not kept up with his massive production with Wisconsin.

Oddly, in Mel Kiper's first go-round in projecting the draft in 2013, Ball placed at No. 21 to the Cincinnati Bengals, but has since fallen off Kiper's board. Where will he land when all is said and done?

Complete 2013 NFL draft coverage at SB Nation

Pros:

  • Quickness and balance in small holes has allowed Ball to take advantage of very small windows of opportunity and turn them into record-breaking performances with the Badgers. Combine that with some power to spare, Ball pushes past would-be tacklers.
  • Ball's footwork is exceptional. He also has the patience to read blocking and rushers and then the speed to take advantage of what he sees.

Here's Ball's highlights in a late-season game against the Ohio State Buckeyes, via DraftBreakdown.com:

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